The Best Time to Visit Your Bike Shop
Biking in Heels 10 miles away - at Harris Cyclery. We'd both taken on projects that ended up throwing us curveballs, and now here we were. Even if you work on your bike yourself, it's good to find a trustworthy bike shop you can turn to just in case - and better still, a specific mechanic whose opinion and work you trust. The fact that I travel 10 miles to see Jim even though there are plenty of bike shops walking distance from my house, speaks for itself.
Winter is also the time when bike shops hold end-of-the year sales, where good deals can be found if you are in the market for a new bike. And for those manufacturers whose models do not change year to year, winter is often the last chance to get a bike at the current price tag, before prices go up in the Spring. If you hang around long enough, you might also learn about non-advertised deals, including second hand bikes. Some of the most interesting vintage bicycles never make it to the likes of Craig's List or e-bay, but are sold via word of mouth. Bicycle shops can act as hubs for those types of connections. If you are looking for a particular bike, try asking your bike shop about it - they might just know of a customer, or a friend, who is trying to sell theirs.
The winter months are infamously slow for the bicycle industry - but as a customer, you can take advantage of that in a way that benefits everyone: You get more personal attention, faster turn-around, and better deals - and the bike shop gets winter business. It's win-win!